Wisdom Connections From Love, Art, & Friendship

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Wisdom Connections From Love, Art, & Friendship

We just watched The Power of the Dog and it’s an incredible work of art.

I can’t stand suspense, have never been able to deal with it: I read plot summaries FOR the spoilage and the end of novels first to make sure things work out okay. Yet I resisted doing this with this film. And I’m pretty sure that the horrifyingly tense two hours of creative genius is as good as my shaky knees and dangerously elevated heart-rate are telling me it is.

@TEA and Me

Some Friendships are simply Wisdom dances—the one I have with @TEA is one of them.

I recently posted a collaborative piece, co-written by my good friend TEA that it reminded me of a longer piece posted back in Oct. of last year.

For nearly 30 years I was a member of a poker group. On a monthly basis we would meet when it was most convenient for the majority of guys to play. We always had at least half-a-dozen of us and sometimes eight or nine.

I would usually lose my $20 over the course of several hours but have a lot of laughter and a bit of raging lunacy (by me, everyone else was always well behaved).

One guy in our group, actually a couple years older than me and the eldest, turned me onto Medium.

As poker competitors/buddies, he had always seemed the most radical thinker in the group; the guy furthest outside the box about politics, life, golf (a HUGE addiction for him), $, anything...everything.

He was always very supportive of me personally and of my work as a poet and writer, thus his recommendation that I visit Medium.

He is @TEA here on Medium. He reads but doesn’t post writings himself.

A couple years back with his wife and family, he moved across state, a 5 or 6 hour drive away. His attendance at poker became rare, especially during the snowy winter months.

In truth, despite so many years of seeing him once a month, I didn’t think much about him. We were friendly, but not close friends.

Despite this lack of closeness, for some reason we began emailing back and forth to stay in touch.

This correspondence soon became an almost daily activity and soon we were far closer via our written words than we’d ever been face to face in RL (Real Life).

When I finally figured out that I could post my own writings on Medium, @TEA was the first reader to “clap” for me. He always encouraged my work (and still does).

His emails got, to my mind, better and better, smarter and more beautifully composed as the months passed. I soon became deeply touched and appreciative of his observations, experiences, feelings about nature and life and politics and philosophy .

I learned so much from him.

As it happened, we were perfectly positioned to survive and thrive through the nightmare that COVID has been to friendships, families, and intimacy.

I began, with Tea’s consent and permission, to revise some of his email paragraphs into poems. All the words (or almost ALL) were his and I merely broke his lines and sent them back to him.

Since he will likely never write for Medium himself, I have sought and received his permission to present some of his (we call them “our”) poems.

I’ll be forever grateful to my friend TEA, for letting me share his talents and joy of life and deep passion in living with you in only a few, a tiny sample of his (our) pieces below:


Golf tomorrow (hopefully). Range today (certainly). Still overcast and threatening. Centered in the darkening dome of the perceptible environment, foreground, middle distance and horizon all vague shades of gray, It suddenly becomes clear why so many of our neighbors are absent, teeing it up in Palm Desert and Scottsdale. Our neighbors, all vague shades of grey, teeing it up.

Old things

We are funny about old things, things of little value proving resiliently invaluable.

Some Need In Me

It satisfies some need in me to try to capture some impression, some feeling, some emotion that would otherwise be lost forever to the amnesia that ruthlessly wipes the slate of awareness clean to make space for the next fleeting array of wonders and distractions.

Septuagenarians In the Time of COVID-19,

The Reaper won’t be having much fun when he gathers these old, decrepit husks from which the best of life has already been wrung.

A Quick Note In Response to Naked Capitalism

We are lost on the far reaches of a sea of lies, propaganda, and betrayal.

Other than that, I think things are going great.

TEA has written scores of other equally gorgeous lines and thoughts and feelings that I’ve changed into our poems. Without the initial separation of his moving far away, and now the limitations for close physical proximity created by COVID I doubt we’d have ever found this amazing friendship that I value so deeply.

He also stays in touch with his camera:

Okay, one more TEA poem:

From the 9th green

Above the cart path approaching #9, this beautiful great blue heron circled in over my head, then landed on the edge of the water feature, looking for lunch. Impossibly large and lovely in flight, he came in no more than 20 feet above me; back flapping his huge wings, hovering to the softest of touch-downs. These sea birds can swallow improbably large fish and other prey, their throats expanding beyond credulity. In our ponds however, he will find nothing larger than appetizers. He moves in slow-motion, balancing interminably on one leg and then the other, moving in microscopic increments. Keeping his shadow shoreward, the soul of patience, he scans for the hapless. Masses of little frogs and schools of tiny silver fish are seemingly unaware of the danger looming above them. There’s a lot more than golf going on out here, my friend.

Indeed, TEA, there is more to golf and more to poetry and more to friendships in this time of plague. All we have to do is be open to it and able to see it when it soars, ever so close, above our heads.

When @TEA Talks, It’s Best to Listen*

A red-tailed hawk just glided past my window, riding the strong southeasterly wind. Below, in the garden, usually ubiquitous sparrows and finches are suddenly nowhere to be seen. No fools they.

Letting people in and letting people go, isn’t always a slam dunk.

Although often it is; we have only a certain amount of emotional space to allocate to others. People who can’t park within the lines eventually lose their parking privileges. Hey, I don’t make the rules or necessarily obey them all. But I know them and like good table manners they have occasional usefulness.

Absence Makes the Heart More Nutty

And aging makes absences grow claws and fangs

Walking for Patti is like meditation is for Zen Monks. She loves to be in motion, accomplishing things or simply moving through the world, stretching her muscles, and filling her spirit. For me her walking is a great time for not being interrupted while I’m writing. Which worked okay, and was especially good when we still had Rusty (RIP) who was intensely protective. But that’s been a few years now, and these days when she’s gone, I start to worry after about an hour whether she’s okay or not, wondering when she’ll return home. We watch far too many True Crime shows where even old ladies get raped and murdered. I tell ya, getting older, as many have said, is not for sissies, although the opportunities for worry and concern multiply exponentially as each year rolls over into another.

My very good friend loves great writing.

He loves golf even more. He can’t imagine life sans golf. I mean, passion is all fine and good...When you saw those ellipses, you heard a “but” coming didn’t you? No? Oh, sorry, it musta been me. Doesn’t the phrase “sans golf,” remind you of “Sand trap”? No? Oh. Me neither.

An email from my pal Tea.

“The hazelnut trees, always among the first, are beginning to turn as fall tiptoes in. We survived a colossal windstorm last night, lights frequently flickered but uncharacteristically, power stayed on. Shot 90 in 30+ mph winds yesterday on recently aerated and sanded greens (bumpy and slow). Hope you are well and life is being kind.” (P.S. This guy would play golf in a fuckin’ hurricane!)

NOT, I repeat NOT, About Golf

Tea & his fav addiction - A Valentine to My Golfing Brother Tom

The Golf Gods decided to punish you And I felt you taking it out on me. I was deeply confused until I realized that this was merely a further side-effect of what had happened to you on the golf course- The skies opened-up when you were a bit out in the rough on the 4th or 5th hole, about as far from the club house as you could possibly get, the mud and sludge and even the old native American graves upon which the course was built, skulls and bones of the great ancestors draped in faded beads and eagle feathers and deer skulls, a plethora of totemic artifacts, poking up as you tried to scramble back to your clubs, sinking into what had once been a safe-seeming edge of the fairway, now clearly a quicksand trap that had already swallowed-up the 3 other members of your foursome. As I said above on the golf course the gods were at work punishing you and your fellow sufferers in ever new cruel ways: for loving the game too much, have mercy on us for loving the game too much, have mercy on us for loving the game too much, grant us peace.

“Golf is…” (Spoken in Tea ’s own words)

“… our callous, brutal obliteration (among myriad other sins) of sacred space where indigenous cultures once thrived; we play, on courses built over their bones, the most frivolous, wasteful and exclusionary game ever devised by an indifferent and arrogant victor. Golf is, therefore, a perfect allegory. Golf is… the theft of lands, the murderous destruction of anything and anyone who stands between us...

and the first tee.

(I’ll add, or the 13th hole for that matter)

Septuagenarians In the Time of COVID-19 ~Co-authored with Tea

How a pair of old dudes handled Covid-19 fears, pre-getting our fucking shots!

Part One

We keep hearing the grim reaper disguised as Corona Virus hiding around every corner, snickering at our slightest sniffle or lightest cough; waiting, but not planning to wait for too long.

Part Two

The Reaper won’t be having much fun when he gathers these old, decrepit, husks from which the best of life has already been wrung

My pal and brother.

Tea doesn’t realize what a fine poet he is; brilliant scholar of Shakespeare, an artist with his camera, a master of words and phrases, and may very well, okay, MAY as in MAYBE will break 80 again on a perfect day, on a perfect course, while shooting a near perfect (for him anyway) score. He has inspired me to keep writing and helped me find Medium.com while we whined together mightily over political agreements and disagreements until Covid-19 stepped up and grabbed our imaginations. We did a series of poems together, mostly his words and my arrangement of those words into what I felt were the right spacing of the lines. I’m proud and happy to say I have no idea which words, precisely were his (most of them, though) and which were mine (not many).

However, let us never forget, it’s always all about ME.

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